|The gates to Fritzøe Verk and Larvik Mikrobryggeri.|
Assuming you're in Oslo, the quickest and easiest way to get to Larvik Mikrobryggeri is to come by train. Trains depart hourly from Oslo Central Station and takes about 2 hours to Larvik, the only downside is that the last train back to Oslo leaves Larvik at 21:33. From Larvik railway station walk northwest, along the waterfront, past the new Fritzøe Brygge complex. Follow the signs to Fritzøe Verk. The brewpub is located in the buildings of Larvik Museum in Nedre Fritzøegate 2.
The idea to start a brewpub in Larvik came to Terje Henriksen one day in 2009 and he brought it up with two friends from Larvik Beer Club, Roy Dahl and Jørn Einar Gjertsen. They liked the idea too, and the three of them spent the next couple of years visiting brewpubs in and outside Norway to learn as much as possible about running a brewpub.
With the equipment of a proper pub at their disposal they now needed a location and found one, in an old brick building from 1854 in Nedre Verksgård at Fritzøe Verk. The building was no longer used for industry but had been taken over by Larvik Museum. The town council thought it would be great to have a brewpub there, and allowed Larvik Mikrobryggeri to start constructing their pub and brewery there.
|The bar at Larvik Mikrobryggeri.|
The pub officially opened its doors to the thirsty public on 3 December 2011, but the micro brewery had not been installed yet, so to give the pub an edge they offered two "house beers" on draft that was contract brewed for them at Lillehammer Bryggeri - Larvik Bødker Pilsner and Larvik Weissbier. In addition to the draft beer, the pub also offered a good selection of bottled beer from Belgium, England, USA, Germany and Norway.
Some 46 years after Larvik Bryggeri closed in 1963, the town of Larvik finally had a working brewery again!
Since June, Larvik Mikrobryggeri has brewed two other types of beer - an English Bitter and most recently a German-style Oktoberfest beer called Festival. This latter beer was labeled "a topped bayer" on their Facebook page, and Oktoberfest / Märzen on RateBeer.
|The 500 L micro brewery at Larvik Mikrobryggeri.|
Larvik Mikrobryggeri is a cozy and quiet pub, even on a Friday night, and in the summer season it's great to sit outside in the historical surroundings of Fritzøe Verk. The draft beer selection wasn't that impressive, despite the seven tap lines. They offered two light and tasteless lagers from Union Bryggeri in Skien and the even less tasty Arctic Ice from Mack. Larvik Bødker Pilsner was ok and their own Svenner Skum kölsch decent, but with two empty tap lines this meant I had to go for bottles after just a couple of draft beers.
But the bottle menu was decent, offering beers such as Tripel Karmeliet, Wye Valley Wholesome Stout, Samuel Smith's Nut Brown Ale, Anchor Porter and Kulmbacher Mönchshof Bockbier. I had no problems stretching the time for my train ride home.
Another thing I missed was some good pub grub, since Larvik Mikrobryggeri is located some distance outside downtown Larvik. But this can be solved by calling one of the local pizza shops and have them deliver food at the pub.
Before she left, I had a short conversation with Elin Svendsen, the daily manager of Larvik Mikrobryggeri (who has just resigned because of health issues). She mentioned that Terje Henriksen is planning to brew more interesting beers in the fall, including a porter and a Christmas beer, so I will certainly consider making a second visit to Larvik Mikrobryggeri later this year.
In the meantime, I hope they get the micro brewery up to speed to keep their currently empty tap lines flowing with fresh beer.
|Larvik Svenner Skum - a decent Kölsch|
The complete set of photos from this visit can be found at Flickr.